Break Free 2016 Climate Direct Action

Blurbed by P. Wingnut

The climate change action group and others are calling for coordinated direct actions and mass arrests designed to disrupt fossil fuel installations and government offices in a dozen countries from May 7-15. They are calling to “keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate a just transition to 100% renewable energy and a sustainable future for all.” Specific targets in the United States, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Philippines, Indonesia and Israel/Palestine will be announced soon.

Their call to action explains: “After the Climate Summit in Paris we need to redouble efforts to end the use of destructive fossil fuels and choose a clean and just energy future. Imagine: tens of thousands of people around the world rising up to take back control of their own destinies. Walking arm-in-arm into coal fields. Sitting down to block the business of governments and industry that threaten our future. Marching in peaceful defense of our right to clean energy. We are close to a historic, global shift in our energy system. The way we get there is by action that confronts those who are responsible for climate change and takes power back for the people so we can shape the sustainable and just future we need.”

Unlike previous climate protests scheduled to protest international summit meetings or stop particular projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, the May actions are designed to seize the initiative and set the agenda rather than just reacting. Organizers point out that “climate change is with us now and the need to act has never been more urgent. Our actions must reflect the scale and urgency of this crisis in a way that can no longer be ignored.” The May action will focus on civil disobedience actions / mass arrests rather than emphasizing marches and rallies. Folks not wanting to risk arrest can act as support persons to those risking arrest so everyone can participate.

The call to action emphasizes the need to empower local communities and grassroots groups. As Naomi Klein and others have pointed out, solving the climate crisis presents a huge opportunity to broadly reorganize social relations away from centralized, corporate extractive thinking and towards sustainable, cooperative and human-based economics and technology. Avoiding disastrous climate change requires these shifts. As the organizers point out “These mobilizations will … help spread information about crucial new and existing local campaigns to fight fossil fuels, and continue to shift political power away from the fossil fuel industry and towards grassroots groups who are at the frontlines of a great energy and economic transformation.”

The unsustainable corporate system is a dead end not just because it is polluting the earth, but because it has polluted our lives with pointlessness, powerlessness, boredom and isolation. Top down energy and technology pollutes our bodies and our souls.

As gloomy as it can look sometimes, we’re at the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era — but historical eras never collapse on their own, they always need our help. How can you plug in this May?

See the call to action for more information at